The 16 Best Sliders of 2019 GIF Tournament

We've gathered the 16 nastiest pitching GIFs from 2019 Spring Training. Which one was the best?

If there’s one pitch that looks great regardless of how bad the camera angle is, it’s a slider. It’s also become the go-to breaking ball across the league, especially for relievers.

Although the 2019 season is young there have already been a ton of wipeout sliders. In fact, there have been 16 that were particularly better than the rest — so let’s throw them in a GIF Tournament and see which one walks out victorious. No curves, gas or pulling the string in this tournament. Sliders only.

Here are the rules:

  • All GIFs were pulled from the first two and a half weeks of the season.
  • You can only vote on a matchup once, so make sure you pick the one you absolutely want. No take-backsies (very strict policy).
  • Voting will continue until 12:00 a.m. EST the following morning. This is the first round.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Here are the matchups for Round 1:

 

American Bracket

 

1. Chaz Roe vs. 8. Mike Clevinger
2. Anthony DeSclafani vs. 7. Edwin Diaz
3. Matt Boyd vs. 6. Adam Ottavino
4. Caleb Smith vs. 5. Yusei Kikuchi

 

National Bracket

 

1. Jordan Hicks vs. 8. Max Scherzer
2. Dylan Bundy vs. 7. Yu Darvish
3. Collin McHugh vs. 6. Sean Newcomb
4. Andrew Miller vs. 5. Shane Greene

 

Watch the GIFs in the Links Below!


Chaz Roe vs. Mike Clevinger

 

You can’t have a sliders-only GIF tournament without a Chaz Roe slider mixed in. Major League Baseball has yet to prove his telekinetic powers, but they’ll find a way at some point. He goes up against Mike Clevinger, who made Jose Rondon look silly at the dish. The poor guy already had two strikes on him, how is he expected to lay off that?!

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!


Anthony DeSclafani vs. Edwin Diaz

 

This is a very tough first-round matchup, especially for second-seeded Anthony DeSclafani. He had Yasmani Grandal liking his chops on this slider. He channeled his inner Butch Heddo on this pitch, but like Heddo in Rookie of the Year, he couldn’t hit this off-speed pitch. DeSclafani goes against an Edwin Diaz slider that started on the right edge of the plate and ran all the way into the lefty’s batters box. Who wouldn’t swing at that?

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!


Matt Boyd vs. Adam Ottavino

 

Justin Smoak is a well-established Major League hitter. So when you get him to swing at a pitch well out of the zone like Matt Boyd did, you’re doing something right. From the looks of his swing path, it appeared Smoak thought he had a chance to drill this pitch, which further speaks to the late action Boyd has. His opponent is Batman to Chaz Roe‘s Superman in these tournaments. Adam Ottavino is always a tough matchup. He plops this slider in from up and out of the zone. Normally, a slider thrown above the strike zone gets drilled out of the yard, but Ottavino doesn’t throw a normal slider.

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

 

Caleb Smith vs. Yusei Kikuchi

 

These sliders generated a couple of awfully ugly swings. Sheesh! What’s also impressive about Caleb Smith‘s slider is he hit his spot. There are a lot of times that doesn’t happen with these GIFs, so that’s impressive, regardless of Johan Camargo‘s swing. Smith’s opponent, Yusei Kikuchi, hammered poor Yoan Moncada with a back foot slider. Heck, his catcher couldn’t even handle it!

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

 

Jordan Hicks vs. Max Scherzer

 

Not that it matters, but does Jordan Hicks have any friends? Because I can’t imagine anyone liking a guy who can throw cheese, then throws a stupid slider like this. This Corey Dickerson swing may be the ugliest in the history of professional baseball. Hicks goes against one of the most consistent pitchers in the game, Max Scherzer. Mad Max gave Pete Alonso a warm welcome to the show with this slide-piece. (Though, I think Alonso has since recovered from this swing fairly well.)

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

 

Dylan Bundy vs. Yu Darvish

 

This Dylan Bundy slider has such sharp break to it that it looks much harder than the 81 mph reading on the radar gun. Looking at where this thing started, you know Khris Davis thought he was going bridge with this swing. Bundy faces Yu Darvish in the first round, who made Ozzie Albies look like a fool on this 0-1 slider. This is a prime example of what getting ahead early in the count can do for you.

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

 

Collin McHugh vs. Sean Newcomb

 

Most sliders are about depth these days, not as much horizontal action. So when you break out one like this one from Collin McHugh, you will see hitters make bad decisions. Not that Aaron Judge did here. How was he supposed to know this thing would take off like it did? McHugh goes toe-to-toe with a Sean Newcomb slider that baffled Anthony Rizzo. Calling it right now: if there’s an upset in the first round, it’ll come from this matchup.

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

 

Andrew Miller vs. Shane Greene

 

Andrew Miller continues to terrorize hitters in the Midwest, although now he’s doing it in the National League. The movement on this slider is nice, but he also dots this thing up. Movement: check. Location: check. Stupid swing from the hitter: check. But Miller doesn’t have a cakewalk first-round matchup. This Shane Greene slider is tight and late. Where most of the sliders in this tournament move a ton, his has much later action and is very sharp — just look at the way Detroit Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner receives it.

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

Nick Friar

Nick pitched at Northwestern University from 2011-14. He firmly believes the answer to every count and situation is a changeup — probably because he only topped out at 91. Nick runs the GIF Tournaments at Pitcher List. If you see a pitch that deserves recognition, let him know on Twitter @Nick_Friar. Maybe give him a follow, too? Or not. Actually, "not" might be the right answer here.

Account / Login
>